This is considered a classic of the gangster movie genre. I've watched it 2-3 times over the years ... and if the definition of a classic is how well it holds up, then this one has consigned itself... Read moreto the historical curiosity cabinet. It attempts some kind of psychological 'profile' for Cagney's gangster - taken together with the blatant aspect of promoting police procedural techniques, it comes off as a black-and-white cookie cutter drama where the outcome is never in doubt. Margaret Wycherly steals every scene she's in as Ma Jarrett.
Pick up the pieces folks, Jimmy's in action again!
Cody Jarrett is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his 'Ma,' Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody's top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an 'accident' happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who thereby befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody's ultimate betrayal and downfall, during a big heist at a chemical plant.